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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71048
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I purchased carpets for my new house which were the day

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I purchased carpets for my new house which were laid the day before we moved in. I was unhappy with the carpeting in the hallway, as it is a striped carpet & had been laid wonky. I addressed this with the fitters at the time & was told it was due to my walls not being square. I also mentioned the lumps that were in the carpet & was assured these would settle down. I paid £992 for the carpets & fitting. Under the stress of moving with 3 children of my own & 3 foster children, aged 16 to 15 months, I was in no position to argue this further at that moment in time, so I paid the fitters. Incidentally, the fitters are contracted by Carpetright & paid separately.
I contacted Carpetright regarding these issues-with the bumps getting worse & occurring in other places over time. They sent their estimator out to assess the job, not a fitter. I took me arranging two visits as he didn't turn up the first time. He said the carpets needed rest retching to sort out the bumps and gave me the same reason regarding the walks for why my hall carpet is wonky-out by four inches from following the line along one wall from start to finish.
As an estimator, I did not feel comfortable with his assessment as he is not a fitter. Whilst waiting for Carpetright to get back to me based on his recommendations of rest retching the carpet, I employed an independent fitter to come & take a look. The independent fitter thought the carpets were delaminating & needed replacing.
I heard nothing from Carpetright regarding the feedback from the estimators visit, (I waited over 3 weeks & called in on various occasions to resolve the issue)so I contacted them myself with the independent fitters report.
At this point they arranged for their fitters to come out & take a look. The fitters were shocked at the squiff of the hallway carpet upon entering & on assessing the bumps they said the carpets needed replacing. They were going to report this I store to the manager the next day.
I followed up on this & was told that they were in agreement that the carpet needed replacing, but the carpet I had chosen originally (5 months earlier) was discontinued. I was asked to choose another carpet, which I did, and was charged £132 as the value of the replacement was slightly higher.
I asked about compensation as the carpets were originally laid in an empty house, & now I was going to have to empty the lounge diner & stairway, hall & landing for the replacements to be laid. HUGE upheaval, due to no fault of my own, & child care costs incurred to put little one safely out of the way for 2 days, carpenter costs at £45 as I needed to have doors removed & rehung & the obvious loss of earnings. To which they offered me £30!!!
Today the fitters were due between 9am & 10am. Due to further incompetence there was confusion over which carpets the fitter needed to bring & as a result, I have incurred further costs as I had to get my childminder to collect my son from home & at 12:46 I am still waiting on the fitters arriving. Having called the store to enquire as to when this might be, I may be lucky to see them by 2pm.
This is unacceptable as the job was supposed to have been done by midday! My afternoon was to be spent putting furniture back to where it belonged-it is presently in the kitchen & children's bedrooms. The job will likely not be finished before I need to collect my sin from child are at 5pm-I need to leave at 4:30 to be there on time. I will need additional child are tomorrow as well now to enable me to pity furniture back & ensure a safe environment for my son & other children.
Please can you advise if I am able to claim any compensation for the stress & inconvenience this has caused & the additional costs incurred due to their errors in laying the original carpet, & the costs involved having this replaced.
Thank you

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Is the extent of your actual financial loss the cost of a carpenter?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Not just the carpenter, 3 days child are @ £84 + £5 travel costs for childminder to collect Bo this morning & £50 for help moving the furniture which I was unable to do alone-I am a single parent. Plus, I work from home & this has rendered me unable to work for 3 days, so I am losing three days earnings too.
That is too remote from the wrongful act I'm afraid.

Clearly they did not act properly within the terms of the contract that you had. However, only have a claim for consequentially losses that were within the contemplation of the parties.

The cost of childcare and travel costs I'm afraid cannot be passed on to them. It was not caused by their action and anyway not within the contemplation of them at the time of the breach.

Similarly help moving the furniture was your choice. I understand why you made it but you cannot make them liable for that.

Loss of earnings similarly was not within the contemplation of the parties.

The carpenter is a different business. I think probably a court would say thats a proper consequential loss that can be claimed.

The difficult is that the offer they have made is only £15 less than the cost of the carpenter and generally speaking, even at the small claims court, a claim where the difference is only £15 will not find favour I'm afraid.

you might be able to get them to increase the offer that they have made by negotiation as they will not want these events made public. However it would not be a good idea to litigate over this I'm afraid.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Please could you explain the contemplation of the parties?

I do understand what you are saying, but all these costs would have been avoided if the carpets had been laud correctly before we moved in & were not sub-standard quality. Having paid nearly £1000, I never expected to have to replace the carpets & spend more money on this after only being in-situ for 6 months.

It seems very unfair & unethical for Carpetright to expect me to pick up the bill for issues with their product & choice of fitters.
Something that would have been envisaged by other side. Something that could have been reasonably foreseen.

These losses are either not caused by the breach - e.g the cost of removal and child care was at your choice - or just plain too remote - loss of earnings.

The carpenter is different because that had to be done to allow the work.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Without putting Bo into child are & getting help to move the furniture, I wouldn't have been able to have the work done. I had no choice.

I asked Carpetright to provide two men & a van to empty the furniture before work commenced but they were unwilling to do this.

They had an empty house to work in initially but they knew we were in residence with 6 children & all associated furniture. They must have foreseen that should there be an issue, it would prove to be extremely difficult to address easily?

Also, the bedroom carpets were laid incorrectly, but due to the impossible task of also emptying the bedrooms to rectify this - they would have expected me to empty my entire house! - this isn't even being rectified.

Again, sub standard workmanship that I have to live with, even though I paid good money, due to their poor choices in contracted fitters.

I find it hard to believe that I am just to pay up & accept this?

I am really sorry and I wish I could say something else but I'm afraid I cannot agree. People have work done with their children in situ all the time. In any event, there were other options than paid child care and if there were not then that isn't within the contemplation of the parties.

You are free to sue. You have a proper claim for about £45. I would not advise it because the court could well make you pay costs of the other side on the basis that it was vexatious to bring a claim where the difference is only £15.

However, you do have a claim.

You could always argue over the consequential losses issue at court but it would be irresponsible of me to tell you that you can claim the cost of your child care while they did this work.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your help. I did need to know even if it's not what I want to hear.

No problem and all the best.

As I said above though, this is not to say that you cannot negotiate more. They do not know whats in the contemplation of parties and what is not and probably would offer more to avoid court action.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile
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